This was my first time back to True North in Oxford since last August, and the match was true to their usual style: almost every target partialed, tight shooting positions, and a seated start in the shoot house. I honestly wonder what the goal of such difficult target presentations is, since it definitely does not make the match a crowd pleaser, and attendance is usually pretty sparse. (A lot of folks were scared off by the threat of rain during the match and there were only 18 shooters split between two squads.)
I ran “Production Optics” style, shooting my Stock 2 with Sig dot on it, but with 15 rounds in my mags. I had to do an extra reload on 3 of the 5 stages, but to be honest, I don’t really care. Since it looks like I’ll be continuing to switch back and forth between CO and Production depending on the match, just sticking with the same Production-legal basepads for both guns makes life easier in a lot of ways.
My attitude at this point is that I’ll shoot Production any time there’s competition in the match, like at South Carolina where there was legit heat in the division. But I would have been the only person at this match shooting Production, which cuts into the fun factor. My live and dry fire practice will be with the Production guns, and basically I’ll pick up the dot gun for a match if it seems like the right way to go.
Anyway, these were my first rounds behind a dot since October, but it really didn’t seem to be an issue. Even with the EGW dovetail dot mount, I had zero problems finding the dot all day.
Most of the stages were pretty straightforward one-way-to-shoot-them affairs with just minor options in target engagement order. Stage 4, our first of the day, presented the option (that I took) to go to the back right corner first and then run to the back left and shoot the way around the rest of the stage. Watching the other shooters run it and comparing their times to mine, I think on this stage, saving the back right position to the end was slightly faster; the uprange movement took less time than moving into and out of that back right position, and the headbox-only target didn’t really give you any ability to shoot entering or leaving that back right position. I was obviously aiming quite hard on that stage and shot all alphas, even on the tight partials.
Stage 5 was all alphas as well, except for a barely-on-the-paper delta from starting to transition off the target as soon as I started to pull the trigger on the second shot. The other delta of the day (outside of the classifier) was on Stage 2, on a wide-open 5-yard target coming into position. That said, out of the 18 shooters in the match I was one of only two with no mikes on the day, which I take as a minor achievement. I definitely laid a few in the hardcover, but I made each of them up, which worked out well.
The classifier was a bit of a mess because of the extra two seconds it took to slowly press-press-press-press the DA with my weak hand. Ended up being an alpha, but the time hurt. Even without that though, it would have only been an 85%ish run, despite what I thought was a fairly blistering String 1. I haven’t been practicing very much this year, and one-handed shooting has definitely taken a hit.
Stage execution went as planned on every stage which was good. My main regret watching the video is seeing the gun jump around more than it should. While I was aiming on a lot of the tight partials, I tended to relax my grip, especially with the left hand. That will be something to work on in live fire as the year goes on.